“The experiences I gained at Calderdale College gave me the confidence to study at degree level”

Sarah studied her BTEC Graphic Design here at Calderdale College and now she has her own photography company.

“When I was 16, I ended up having to live on my own in a bedsit, so my life revolved around College and the people there.” She goes on to explain how she started night classes as well which she credits for gaining “lifelong friends.”

“I am still in touch with some of the tutors. The learning and experiences I gained at the College gave me the confidence to go on to study at degree level and then work in the photography industry where I still am today.”

Reflecting on her time here, she speaks about a trip to London’s Millennium Dome where the Design students put together an exhibition about the industry in Halifax. “It was amazing to see our work on display somewhere so unique.”

She credits the tremendous help from the Student Services team at the College for finding her photography courses to apply for at different universities. “Without the help of Student Services, I wouldn’t have known where to start – even with finding a course, never mind applying! They sourced funding for me which allowed me to travel and stay in accommodation when I attended open days to look around the different university options,” she explained.

The support she received helped her secure a place at Northumbria University to study Contemporary Photographic Practice.

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Speaking on her biggest achievement, she recently got the keys to her “newest and biggest” photography studio yet. After the hard times that Covid posed, she said she is really proud that her business is still “going strong.”

When asked if she would change anything about her time at the College, she said: “I wouldn’t change anything because even though I have done some things the hard way, I really appreciate what I have now, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of the journey.”

She added: “My advice for students is to follow your heart and do what you love because if you do that, your work will never feel like a chore.”

To find out more about Sarah’s work, visit www.pictorialphotography.co.uk/

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